Book, paper expert Barrett to speak at Steinberg Hall Nov. 12

Barrett, MacArthur ‘genius’ grant recipient, to discuss analysis of 14th- to 19th-century paper

Timothy Barrett, an internationally recognized papermaker, conservator and educator, will discuss “14th- to 19th-Century Handmade Papers: Recent Aesthetic and Scientific Investigations” at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, at Steinberg Hall Auditorium at Washington University in St. Louis.

His talk is free and open to the public.

Historical and contemporary paper specimens and artists’ books also will be on display at Steinberg.

A reception will follow the lecture.

Barrett is a research scientist and adjunct professor at the University of Iowa Center for the Book, which he directed from 1996-2002. The Center for the Book is the only academic program in the United States that focuses on producing traditional Western- and Japanese-style papers and teaching-related techniques.

In 2002, he and co-workers fabricated archival paper used to re-house the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. He has authored two books, six videotapes and 25 articles on hand papermaking.

Barrett is winner of a 2009 MacArthur “Genius” Award for his work as a research scientist and paper specialist. He won grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Foundation, the Kress Foundation and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Barrett earned a bachelor’s degree in 1973 from Antioch College and undertook training in papermaking at Twinrocker Handmade Paper in Indiana (1973-75), the Saitama Prefecture Paper Industry Research Station in Japan (1975-77) and Western Michigan University (1982-85). In 1986, he joined the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

For a video featuring Barrett and the Center for the Book, visit

Barrett’s talk is sponsored by University Libraries. For more information, call Special Collections at (314) 935-5495.